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Friday, July 07, 2017

BlackPebble Or BlackRock?

News summary by MFWire's editors

If things had gone a little differently 29 years ago, the world's biggest ETF shop might be part of a company called BlackPebble.

Steven Schwartzman

Larry Fink and Steve Schwarzman intentionally settled on a similar name for Fink's Blackstone spinoff, BlackRock [profile]. Schwarzman revealed that tidbit and more in a recent interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box".

Fink and Co created BlackRock under Schwarzman's Blackstone in 1988, three years after Schwarzman started Blackstone. BlackRock "used to be called Blackstone Financial," Schwarzman says, but needed to rebrand when spinning off from the private equity firm.

"Larry and I were sitting down and he said, 'What do you think sort of about having a family name with "black" in it'," Schwarzman says.

Outsiders warned Fink and Schwarzman that similar naming "will completely confuse people," yet Schwarzman told Fink it was a "good idea." Fink suggested "either BlackPebble or BlackRock," Schwarzman says. There's no word on whether BlackBoulder, BlackOre, or BlackEarth were also considered.

Now, Schwarzman says, he gets "a real chuckle" any time there's "a little confusion" between BlackRock and Blackstone. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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